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Transaction Gone Bad - Advice Needed

(55 posts)
  • Started 8 months ago by pipesmokingtom
  • Latest reply from ssjones
  1. pipesmokingtom

    pipesmokingtom

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    Back in April, I sold off some of my aged bulk including a 4oz jar of bulk 2002 McClelland #27 on a Facebook group. The fellow who purchased it was previously unknown to me. He PayPal'd me the asking price and I payed for shipping. He lives in Malaysia and I shipped to a family member of his who then forwarded it on to him in his home country.

    Fast forward to now, 5 months later and the fella messages me and says he opened the jar and was met with the smell of latakia. He smoked some and he says it confirmed his suspicion that the blend contains latakia and he was obviously expecting an aged straight Virginia.

    He's asking for a full refund, at which point he'll send the tobacco back.

    I'm at a bit of an impasse here, because I have no previous experience with this guy and would be trusting his pallet that the blend isn't what it's supposed to be, and trusting that he'll ship the tobacco back after I refund the money.

    Should I treat this as a retail return and expect the product back before I issue a refund, refund partial to cover shipping back and then send the difference upon receipt, or tell him tough kitty paws?

    Obviously the stuff was jarred 16 years ago and I can't be 100% confident some sort of mixup didn't happen back then, but at the same time I don't want to be left with nothing but my **** in my hand if this guy is pulling something.

    5 months seems like an awful long game to scam someone out of 50 bucks and 4oz of tobacco, so I don't know!

    What say you?

    "We have an unspoken, mutual understanding to ignore the things we hate about each other so we can continue to enjoy the things we love about each other."
    Posted 8 months ago #
  2. crashthegrey

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    Smells fishy. I'd ask that the jar to be returned prior to refund.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  3. weedsnager

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    Why would anyone expect a refund without having the return in your hands first ?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  4. ben88

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    Is he asking you to pay for return shipping as well? If not - he has to intention to send it back.
    My advice - cut your losses. You will loose PayPal case, if he opens one and PayPal will ride your a.. for selling tobacco.

    Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate
    Posted 8 months ago #
  5. mso489

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    I'm suspicious, but if you decide to refund him and hope for the best that he returns the tobacco, use some kind of international money order that gives him zero information on your credit card or banking or anything else about you. For financial purposes, assume he's a crook. If he isn't, all the better. But that's your working assumption.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  6. warren

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    Sometimes the customer isn't right! Five months? If you have a reason to mess with this, insist the product be returned before you would even consider a refund. I'm customer oriented but, he's pushing the envelope.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 8 months ago #
  7. ashdigger

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    I absolutely agree with Warren. How do you know the intermediary didn't do something?

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 8 months ago #
  8. weedsnager

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    He pay with PayPal friends and family or goods and services?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  9. pipesmokingtom

    pipesmokingtom

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    He pay with PayPal friends and family or goods and services?

    Goods and services. In April, he told me F&F wasn't available from PayPal in his country. He paid the additional 1.80 to cover the expense at the time.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  10. woodsroad

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    He needs to return the product first,

    Posted 8 months ago #
  11. folanator

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    No idea why you would take it back unless it's sealed container after this long. Y'all have WAY more trust than I do. I have visions of changing diapers and then reaching for something to smoke. No thanks.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  12. pipesmokingtom

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    No idea why you would take it back unless it's sealed container after this long.

    Well, it was a mason jar with tobacco with a Sharpied label on the top. Some risk is taken on by the buyer as well to trust me that it contains what I say it contains. I'd be upset if what I received wasn't what I expected, but still don't feel 100% good about refunding money without the tobacco in my hands.

    It's been in a jar for 16 years so it doesn't surprise me it took an additional 5 months to open. I have jars I purchased many years ago that still may or may not be what they're labeled. I get it to an extent and just want to reach the most amicable solution possible.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  13. admiral

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    Well, how do you know that he wont just smack whatever tobacco in the jar and send it back?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  14. pipesmokingtom

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    Well, how do you know that he wont just smack whatever tobacco in the jar and send it back?

    Haha, I don't know if he'll send anything back. I think sending enough money to cover shipping back and the rest upon receipt is probably the most fair solution. Assuming I don't end up with a jar of BCA or something, of course.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  15. crashthegrey

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    I feel like you are being played, and that is a shame.

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    jguss

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    I guess I’m in the minority here. I’d be inclined to trust him and send the refund. You might ask that he ship immediately upon receipt of the money and send a tracking number. Not that that will prevent you from being screwed but it may cut the time period you’re stuck wondering what will happen.

    As for the five months, yeah it’s a long time but most of us here have accumulated more tabacco than we can readily smoke. Many of my tins and jars are cellared for years before I pop them open. So it’s really not surprising that it could take a long while before sampling a purchase.

    Hell, I bought a pipe two months ago that I just got around to unwrapping and found that there was a problem. My fault that I waited so long? Sure. But the seller was still nice enough to fix it for me. And I appreciated it, and will remember his response.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  17. pipesmokingtom

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    As for the five months, yeah it’s a long time but most of us here have accumulated more tabacco than we can readily smoke.

    Agreed - I have no issue with the length of time it took him to open the jar.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  18. scloyd

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    Maybe refund half and upon receipt of the tobacco...you refund the other half.

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    mau1

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    I assume there was never a discussion regarding returns/refunds prior to the sale, otherwise we wouldn't be discussing this. He should have asked, I usually do when making a purchase. And why would he wait 5 months to check it out; I know I would have cracked it open the same day I received it. Caveat emptor. Folanator makes a very good point as well.

    “I've been treating you with courtesy and respect because that's the way I choose to treat everyone. But never, ever mistake kindness with weakness.”
    ― Louise Penny, Still Life
    Posted 8 months ago #
  20. saltedplug

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    Absolutely no refund unless the goods are in your hand.
    He's a n00b with an inaccurate palate or a scammer. 5 months down the road he has no case. Don't you inspect goods on receipt? At least smoke some and then consign it to a jar.

    95% of those I did business with in my tobacco sales were gentlemen,. The other 5% were unreasonably demanding, and no sooner did I accede to the first demand came the second and third. I refunded this guy his hundred dollars rather than go on trying to satisfy him. Most others I told that we were not going to do business. I'd shut this guy down.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  21. mso489

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    'Might be well to limit sales to your own country, or own region, etc. When you get overseas, your leverage on anything is remote. My inclination at an emotional level is to be trusting, but after a few rounds of banditry, you want some barriers to the pillaging.

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    mau1

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    Hey, us Canadians is good guys mso489. Brothers-in-arms, ya know. Keep us in the loop. Why my ancestor was on the Mississippi and the Calabash rivers in 1702 as a voyageur, setting up a trading post. Went to Louisiana and never returned. I know I have distant blood relatives still roaming those there parts.

    Oh. and Costco is the only place I know that will make a refund after that length of time. The buyer bears a responsibility as well.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  23. pipesmokingtom

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    I try to accommodate those in other countries where access to this kind of stuff is limited. I should have discussed a return policy before I sent it all the way to Malaysia, but it never even crossed my mind. Live and learn, I suppose. Worst case, I'm out 50 bucks and 4oz of tobacco. I'll be fine.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  24. smokeyweb

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    No refund until product has been returned.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  25. pipesmokingtom

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    ACTUALLY - I just remembered I also included a cob and some other sampler tobaccos as well as a gift. No way I'm sending money without getting that jar back.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  26. 3rdguy

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    I believe with the payment method you accepted he has a 6 month window to file a Paypal claim. I have an order shipped (overseas) that I was paid $550.00 for. He has been asking for more product. Once that 6 month window has passed I will sell again to him but not before.
    Just struck me odd as your guy is coming in on the 5 month mark. Mine is up in January, until then I am waiting to see if "the other shoe drops" so to speak.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  27. tslex

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    This is a ton of agita over $50.

    If it were me, and I thought it worth shipping 4 oz of tobacco halfway around the world a SECOND time, I guess I'd refund him and ask him to ship it back. If you are worried, given it is going to take a good while to get here, ask him to ship some way that has tracking, then when he send the tracking, send him the money.

    If you get back an empty jar, it's $50. (Think three cob pipes.) If you get back the full jar, well, even steven.

    But really, what is your time and psychic energy worth? And is this how you want to spend those precious commodities?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  28. balkisobrains

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    Sounds shady, don't be surprised if he keeps whatever money you decide to send him, keeps the items you already sent him, gets his money back that he already paid you, & rats you out to Paypal for selling tobacco, all in one shot.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  29. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    I suspect that is James, I think that is his name. He purchased quite a bit of tobacco from me with one of the sales I did. Everything went perfectly. In fact, voluntarily, he sent me a shipment of some exceptionally rare and fine Asian Tea. We have exchanged several PM's here, he seems to be a very nice gentleman of high integrity.

    I can't vouch for your situation but if this is the same guy, and it sounds like it is, my interaction with him was perfect. Hope this helps.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  30. pipesmokingtom

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    I suspect that is James, I think that is his name. He purchased quite a bit of tobacco from me with one of the sales I did. Everything went perfectly. In fact, voluntarily, he sent me a shipment of some exceptionally rare and fine Asian Tea. We have exchanged several PM's here, he seems to be a very nice gentleman of high integrity.

    I can't vouch for your situation but if this is the same guy, and it sounds like it is, my interaction with him was perfect. Hope this helps.

    It very well may be the same gentleman and I'll take your input under consideration! Thanks!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  31. craiginthecorn

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    Maybe since you have a well-respected member vouching for this fellow, an accommodation is in order. I wouldn't refund the whole amount and certainly not without him returning the tobacco. Five months is too long. Actually, you'd only be out the tobacco, since you're just refunding the $50. It would still suck.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  32. metalheadycigarguy

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    5 months seems like a long time to expect a refund. Also, who knows what the said "family member" did with the tobacco before passing it along. I think it falls on the buyer as a buyer beware and to not wait several months if the product wasn't what he was expecting. I'd say sorry, not accept a refund, and not do business with that person in the future.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  33. mikethompson

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    I really have nothing to add that would help you in your decision, but please keep us updated as the situation progresses.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  34. hoosierpipeguy

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    Is the member jamban? That's the fellow I sent tobacco to. And it was well more than $50 worth and multiple blends. I also sent it through a family member here, no problems.

    This is a bit surprising. For $50, I don't think I would have said anything if I were him and on the flip side, if he felt like he got cheated, I'd send him his $50 back without hesitation to protect my own integrity. I hope you guys can work out an amicable solution.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  35. dochudson

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    Now you understand why a lot of folks sell CONUS only.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  36. sparroa

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    I think this buyer deserves nothing as five months is far too long to wait before complaining to a seller.

    With that said, considering the dollar value at stake I would cut my losses, refund the money, and never do business with this person again.

    I would also never ship bulk/unsealed tobacco to Malaysia through a third party. You should reconsider your international shipping policy - that transaction is about as high risk as possible.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  37. davet

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    Now you understand why a lot of folks sell CONUS only.

    I'm sure I speak for a lot of your northern neighbours that I appreciate that not all forum members think that way. I've made a few purchases without any problems thankfully.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  38. kola

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    I'd have him return it first - as it only seems fair to both of you.

    OTOH if I were Mayalsia-man I'd just keep it - and either smoke it- or trade it. It seems better than paying shipping costs (twice) and taking on all the risks and hassles of sending one jar across the globe.

    I treat people the way they treat me. It's that simple.
    Posted 8 months ago #
  39. hoosierpipeguy

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    I'm a bit surprised at some of the responses. Why is it that the prevailing opinion seems to be opposed to the Malaysia member? I believe this fellow has been purchasing a fair amount of tobacco. I have tobacco I bought in jars over 3 months ago, even 6, that I haven't opened yet.

    Just what if, what if, there is something wrong with that tobacco? Why is it the Buyer seems to have to assume all the risk? Perhaps pipesmokingtom got confused when he jarred it? Or he bought it from someone else who screwed up? I do not at all think pipesmokingtom did anything shady or malicious here.

    It sounds to me like the Buyer acted in complete good faith. He paid upfront and took all the risk. He provided a US address to ship to. What advantage would he have in wanting to return $50 worth of tobacco back to the US? I suppose he could substitute the tobacco for some Lane bulk but really? If this is the same guy I dealt with, he spent $500 without batting an eye and from what I researched on the tea he sent me absolutely free, that was worth at least $75 if not more.

    I question the objectivity here at times.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  40. woodsroad

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    If the buyer fully intends to ship the tobacco back, as was stated in the OP, then returning the goods first (before receiving a refund) shouldn't be an issue. That is the accepted practice here in the US, and probably in a good bit of the rest of the world as well.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  41. hoosierpipeguy

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    That is the accepted practice here in the US

    Accepted by who? On 2 or 3 separate occasions, I've had problems with product shipped to me from Internet Retailers. After contacting them, they promptly sent me out a replacement that included a shipping label to return the defective product. In my world, the person that buys is the "Customer". Why would the Customer always be responsible if they don't receive the product they paid for? The Customer already fulfilled their side of the "trust deal" by paying upfront.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  42. rhoadsie

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    This is a ton of agita over $50.

    But really, what is your time and psychic energy worth? And is this how you want to spend those precious commodities?

    +1

    Also, this is why I won't buy or sell bulk (owner jarred) tobacco. How do you know exactly what was jarred? And, if you sell jarred tobacco, there is no recourse if someone calls bullshit (even if you put the correct tobacco in the jar).

    Good luck!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  43. sparroa

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    I would not ask for the tobacco to be sent back. It is unfit for resale and worthless to anyone but the gentleman in Malaysia who can smoke it if he desires. Paying the freight for that open tobacco would be throwing good money after bad. I understand the reasoning behind it but I would never go that route.

    I have no problem with the person in question but five months is too long to wait. I don't question his integrity or assume he would do anything underhanded. I just think he chose to contact the seller after an unacceptable period of time; one should check their purchase upon arrival and report any issues within a reasonably prompt period such as thirty days.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  44. jpmcwjr

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    Big difference between a retailer doing an ongoing business and an individual. I don't read having the goods back in hand as being against the fellow.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 8 months ago #
  45. ashdigger

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    This thread has gone on long enough for the tobacco to be shipped from Malaysia to the US.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  46. woodsroad

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    ^^^^

    Posted 8 months ago #
  47. hoosierpipeguy

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    ^^^^^^^
    I agree. Given this transaction was conducted on Facebook to start with, not sure why it was ever brought here anyway. Especially over $50.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  48. metalheadycigarguy

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    The original OP was seeking some advice. That's why the subject was brought up on this forum. Simply seeking advice, which he's received plenty of at this point.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  49. hoosierpipeguy

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    More than he probably wanted.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  50. zitotczito

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    I have read this thread with interest and many valid suggestions.

    I look at everything like this situation from an aggravation point of view. If I have to spend to much time thinking about what I am going to do, like requesting the tobacco, waiting for it's return, issuing a full or partial refund, etc. it is not worth it to me personally and I would give the refund, let him keep the tobacco and just call it a day. But that's me. Life is way to short for me to stress over something like this.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  51. woodsroad

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    Was there ever a resolution?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  52. jamban

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    Hello all, i just came across this thread and i believe i am the Malaysian that is being spoken of. I haven't had time to read all the responses yet, but i feel i need to tell my side of the story.

    It took me a long time to receive all the tobacco i bought from the US this past year for various reasons. Finally, i shipped back a number of boxes back about a month or so ago.

    On my birthday, i decided to treat myself with a special tobacco. I chose the 2002 McClelland #27. (If i didn't, this jar would probably have stayed unopened for years to come. It was afterall jarred for 16 years thus far.) Immediately, i was met with a whiff of latakia. Not wanting to believe my nose, i convinced myself that maybe it was contaminated by other tobaccos in the box. Silly me, but i did not want to believe the reality otherwise. I packed it into a nice pipe and lit it up. Latakia once again. I even went on Tobacco Reviews to read if somehow #27 had latakia in it. I know, in denial. I even researched all the others, #22, #24, #25, to see if somehow they had latakia or produced a latakia aroma, and the OP accidentally labeled the jar wrongly. As you can tell, i really didn't want to believe i had been duped by a fellow pipesmoker.

    Alas, i put the pipe down, birthday smoke ruined. It was not a nice feeling. Since then i have not picked up the pipe often, and that latakia blend that has ghosted a good virginia pipe of mine still sits in that bowl. I can't bring myself to deal with it.

    I didn't bring up this small drama with anyone, not even with the OP. I just told him what he needed to know, not how it affected me since that birthday smoke gone wrong.

    I could have outed him on the FB group for selling me at a premium a latakia blend in a jar labeled as 2002 McClelland #27. But instead, i gave him the benefit of the doubt and sent him a private message.

    Now, if you were in my position, wouldn't you want your money back before you sent this '2002 McClelland #27' back to the person who sold it to you? I paid up front, with full trust, only to receive this. So i feel i should be refunded first as i don't know if i can trust this person again.

    For those who raised suspicions that my cousin could've done a little switch-a-roo, my cousin knows zero about pipe tobacco. Otherwise, we would all maybe have known about this mystery latakia blend much sooner. All the other jarred tobacco that was shipped back to me was fine. I bought a number of loose and jarred tobacco from various members here and on the FB groups.

    I have been buying all sorts of things since the 90s from people all around the world. My Ebay track record is immaculate. My own integrity, i have always held to a higher standard. I would rather lose out in any deal than to give less to a fellow human being. So no, i would never try to cheat someone. Of course, if you don't know me, you'd have to take my word for it. But i have dealt with a few people here. Even those who showed me kindness by giving me samples, i tried my best to show them my gratitude and appreciation with gifts i ship from Malaysia.

    Will read all the messages here another day and reply if necessary. For those who read this far, thank you for your time and patience.

    Have a good day all of you and a truly nice week ahead.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  53. dochudson

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    Shipped a number of boxes back

    Posted 7 months ago #
  54. hoosierpipeguy

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    There's 2 sides to every story. Now we have both of them.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  55. ssjones

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    We have heard both sides, so now I'll leave it to those two parties to resolve. Please take this offline

    Al

    Posted 7 months ago #

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